Nike Inc Background

Nike, Inc. was incorporated in 1968 when The University of Oregon’s track and field coach, Bill Bowerman, and his star runner, Phil Knight, thought they could better design and sell shoes to runners than what was available at the time. It is headquartered in Washington County, Oregon. Nike is many things – a product designer, a consumer goods manufacturer, a brand communicator, a leader in corporate responsibility, and a portfolio of authentic footwear, apparel, and equipment brands. In each business Nike focuses on one thing – innovation.

Nike’s principal business activity is the design, development, and worldwide marketing of high quality footwear, apparel, equipment, and accessory products. Nike is the largest seller of athletic footwear and athletic apparel in the world. The Company sells its products to retail accounts, including stores and internet sales, and through a mix of independent contractors. Virtually all footwear and apparel products are manufactured outside the United States, while equipment products are produced both in the United States and abroad.

By 1980, Nike had attained a 50% market share in the U.S. athletic shoe market, and the company went public in December of that year. Its growth was due largely to "word-of-foot" advertising (to quote a Nike print ad from the late 1970s), rather than television ads. Nike's first national television commercials ran in October 1982, during the broadcast of the New York Marathon. The ads were created by Portland-based advertising agency Wieden+Kennedy, which had formed several months earlier in April. (Nike Inc, March).

Together, Nike and Wieden+Kennedy have created many print and television advertisements, and Wieden+Kennedy remains Nike's primary ad agency. It was agency co-founder Dan Wieden who coined the now-famous slogan "Just Do It" for a 1988 Nike ad campaign, which was chosen by Advertising Age as one of the top five ad slogans of the 20th century and enshrined in the Smithsonian Institution. Throughout the 1980s, Nike expanded its product line to encompass many sports and regions throughout the world. (Nike Inc, March). Quick Facts:

As of May 31, 2011, it operated 363 retail stores in the United States and 393 retail stores internationally. The company offers products in the categories of running, training, basketball, soccer, sport-inspired casual shoes, and kids’ shoes. It also markets footwear designed for baseball, cheerleading, football, golf, lacrosse, outdoor activities, skateboarding, tennis, volleyball, walking, wrestling, and other athletic and recreational uses. (Nike Inc, March).

In addition, Nike sells sports apparel and accessories, sports-inspired lifestyle apparel, athletic bags, and accessory items; and markets apparel with licensed college, professional team, and league logos. Further, the company sells performance equipment, including bags, socks, sport balls, eyewear, timepieces, electronic devices, bats, gloves, protective equipment, golf clubs, and other equipment designed for sports activities under the brand name of NIKE; and various plastic products to other manufacturers. (Nike Inc, March). It offers products under the trademarks of Cole Haan, Converse, Chuck Taylor, All Star, One Star, Star Chevron, Jack Purcell, Hurley, and Umbro.

The company offers its products primarily in North America, Western Europe, central and eastern Europe, Greater China, and Japan. The company’s competitors include Adidas, Under Armour, and Puma. NIKE, Inc. was founded in 1964 and is headquartered in Beaverton, Oregon. (Nike Inc, March).